Re: Who would you draft over Shaq?
I think about this all the time, about the truely great prospects I've seen. Not so much how they turned out, but how they were percieved entering the league, and how I viewed their potential at that point.
Shaq is right at the top, just for his shear size and athleticism alone. One of the issues I think people have with Shaq is that inspite of his rediculous resume, you could make a pretty good case that he still underachieved.
Shaq, Lebron, immediately come to mind. So does Chris Webber, who's the first guy I remember coming out of HS with the kind of hype he did. And his skill set was so enormously complete. Of course he was taken first then traded, but still, that was due to the presence of Shaq on this list. Derrick Coleman, who's from my favorite school, and played in a way I found particualarly appealing, and I was pretty young at that point. Of course that didn't work out so well.
Much before that I don't remember a ton, as I was pretty young. But I do actively remember Ewing and Hakeem were both considered franchise changers, to the point where the Ewing draft fix is a pop culture fixture. And Ralph Sampson was a 7-4 do everything guy with a 3 National Player of the Year Pedigree coming in, who'd allegedly been offered the opportunity to go first in drafts going back to HS (a story he tells first person about Red Aurbach in the Jim Valvano 30 for 30, which was spectacular by the way).
So I'm looking at guys more in terms of how you'd draft them if every prospect were thrown in the same pot together, so it makes anyone who didn't go one a little tricky to guage, like Jordan, who was a dynamic prospect.
If you're asking it the other way, I'm building a team, and knowing what I know after the fact, who would I want to build it around, I'd take Kareem.